Speaker for the Diodes - December 14th, 2007

Dec. 14th, 2007

04:58 am - Well, That Was [expletive]ing Odd! [Proprioception]

Waking up was sufficiently odd to make me completely forget the dream I woke out of. I awoke into an episode of sleep paralysis accompanied by a new twist on the proprioception glitches that I occasionally experience.

I woke lying on my left side, wanting to roll over to ease muscles that were starting to cramp in my left arm, legs, and mid+lower back, but unable to move a muscle. I was awake but unable to open my eyes at first, and lacking sonic cues regarding the passage of time (and when, three fourths of the way through the episode, I was able to open my eyes, I was facing the wrong way to see a clock or the computer, so still lacked visual cues) -- so I'm not sure whether the episode lasted an unusually long time (as I know has happened on at least two occasions when time cues have been available, a clock in one case and someone more awake to talk to in another) or just felt a whole lot longer than it really was (as the various web pages I've found suggest is usually the case). I was also convinced that it was several hours later than now, though the lack of traffic sounds should have been a clue there.

Okay, here's the strange part: this time it felt as though my arms were two different lengths, though the position of each arm relative to my torso, as detected by proprioception, was pretty close to their actual positions. My left arm felt longer than it is and my right arm felt shorter than it is and the wrong shape.

Imagine discarding the metacarpals and phalanges, then elongating the carpals to about two thirds the length the metacarpals had been, and spreading the resulting stubby appendages into a roughly cone shape with webbing between them, and then reducing the range of motion of the wrist to a few degrees in any direction. That was what my right hand felt like, what my body was reporting as the position and configuration of the bones and muscles there.

And then, when I finally started to regain some ability to move -- it usually starts coming back eyes/eyelids first orr fingers/toes first and then control over progressively larger muscles starts returning gradually, and usually as I move each part for thef first time the proprioception glitches affecting that part reset themselves -- ... when I started being able to wiggle my fingers slightly, I could feel the fingers of my right hand again and feel them move, but they felt as though they weren't attached; the phalanges were wiggling some short distance away from the ends of the still-wrong-shape carpals and it still felt as though my metacarpals didn't exist. Disembodied fingers flexing slightly and straightening again in response to my attempts to move them, floating a few inches from my mutant hand-thing.

That was a new, and somewhat disturbing, sensation.

When I regained control over enough of my hand to flex my palm and move my wrist, the metacarpals "reappeared" and the fingers reattached. My eyes were open by then but my arm was under the blanket (and I couldn't move my neck yet anyhow). I do not know what affect being able to see the actual location, position, and shape of my hand would have had on my brain's interpretation of the proprioception signals. I kinda want to find out, out of scientific curiosity, and I kinda just don't want to experience that again.

I finally managed to roll over and unkink the muscles that had been cramping up, around five minutes to four. My left hand, which I'm using to type this (I'm lying on my right side now, propped up on my right elbow) was still moving very slowly and clumsily for the first paragraph and a half of typing this entry, but started feeling mostly normal again pretty quickly after that. I'm still typing a little more slowly than usual (a bit slower than my normal left-hand-only speed, that is, which is, of course, slower than my full-on, both-hands, sitting up typing speed).

If it hadn't been for the pain of muscles starting to cramp, I would have just ignored the fact that I couldn't move and tried to fall back asleep, instead of working to break the paralysis.

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05:28 am - QotD

"The fashionable dislike of musicals that comes up every time there's a new film musical seems especially surreal when directed at Sweeney Todd. Like the distressing content is that there are songs." -- [info] rm, 2007-12-12

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03:24 pm - Ride Begging

I know this is rather unlikely, but I may as well ask just in case: would any of my local friends be able to lend me a car for Christmas, so I can get from Baltimore to Rockville for the family Christmas gathering?

Also unlikely ... is anyone headed from Baltimore to Gaithersburg (at least I think that's where I need to go) and back, this coming Wednesday evening, who could give me a ride to HCB rehearsal?

I think I'll be able to walk to the clinic on Monday for my appointment there ... I wish I could be certain this far in advance so I could feel more secure about not asking for a ride there ...

... but I'd appreciate a ride to the podiatrist on the afternoon of the 28th, if anyone's able to do me that favour. (I have instructions for how to get there by bus, so if I'm having a good enough day I should be able to make it that way -- I'm not sure how much walking there is after I get off the last bus -- but I've already rescheduled once for not having felt well enough to get there, so tipping the odds a bit farther in the direction of making it there this time seems like a good idea just to avoid having to reschedule twice in a row.)

Finally, is anyone headed to the 12th Night dance at Riversdale on the 5th, from Baltimore?

I think maybe I need a bicycle. It won't help me get to rehearsals and gigs (or family Christmas), but it'll make it easier to get to doctors, the pharmacy, etc. As long as I can find sufficiently secure places to chain it to at each destination, anyhow.

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